The nation's crude oil supplies shrank last week, the government said Wednesday.
Crude supplies declined by 1.4 million barrels, or 0.4 percent, to 338.1 million barrels, which is 7.3 percent below year-ago levels, the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report.
Analysts expected an increase of 1 million barrels for the week ended Nov. 4, according to Platts, the energy information arm of McGraw-Hill Cos.
Gasoline supplies dropped by 2.1 million barrels, or 1 percent, to 204.2 million barrels. That's 2.9 percent below year-ago levels. Analysts expected gasoline supplies to shrink by 400,000 barrels.
Demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended Nov. 4 was 5.6 percent lower than a year earlier, averaging 8.6 million barrels a day.
U.S. refineries ran at 82.6 percent of total capacity on average, 2.8 percentage points down from the prior week. Analysts expected capacity to decrease by 0.1 percentage point.
Supplies of distillate fuel, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 6 million barrels to 135.9 million barrels. Analysts expected distillate stocks to decline by 2.5 million barrels.
In morning trading benchmark crude fell 49 cents to $96.31 a barrel in New York.